The days of ‘get over it’ are fewer but stigmas around mental health remain. Bell Let’s Talk Day is a reminder that there is never a wrong time to express our feelings, to ask for help, to offer help, or to just listen.
The inability to feel comfortable in these situations is rooted in the reactions of others and the shame or embarrassment that individuals feel. We were once told to ‘not talk of these things’ or ‘just get up and go; you will feel better’. We now know there is no shame, and that we shouldn’t just brush off people’s cries.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day this January 29, let’s identify awareness, compassion, and action as the first steps towards healing, and the development of a greater and more understanding society. Take the time today, and every day of the year, to think about our own needs and the needs of others. Try to be vocal about our concerns and learn the signs of struggle in others.
Don’t push, but don’t give up on someone in need; don’t judge, but try to learn; don’t pretend to know how individuals feel, but always be there to listen.
From everyone at OPSEU, let’s hope today is a good day. And if it’s not, let someone know.
President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida